HALLANDALE BEACH (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man has died from his injuries after a boating accident in the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale Beach.
According to police, a 25-foot Hydra-Sports center console boat hit a sea wall near 3555 South Ocean Drive just north of the Hallandale Bridge.
Upon impact, police say 41-year-old Aldo Antonio Rodriguez became trapped on the boat. A woman, identified as 45-year-old Odalys Diaz, was thrown into the water.
“Upon arriving on scene, the vessel had about 12 inches of water above the deck and was quickly going down, listing hard over,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino.
Investigators said the boat was traveling south in the Intracoastal Waterway just after 1:00 a.m. Monday. Officials said the boat struck the sea wall so hard, it hit the sea wall on the opposite side.
“It’s a mystery to us as to why the vessel collided with the sea wall,” said Pino.
Authorities said speed likely played a role in the accident.
Diaz was ejected from the boat and found in the water, while Rodriguez was thrown into the starboard hull of the vessel.
“The front box of the boat lifted up and somehow he got ejected inside the hull of the boat that way,” said Captain Patrick Keller of Hollywood Fire Rescue.
Chuck Hansen with Fast Response Marine Towing and Salvage helped prevent the heavily damaged boat from sinking and watched the entire rescue unfold.
“When I showed up we had fire emergency workers on the vessel trying to get to the victim that was trapped, that was lodged, inside the vessel between the inner hull,” said Hanson. “The boat was taking on water at a rapid rate, so he was at risk of drowning. Basically, I stabilized the water so emergency workers could extract the victim from the hull.”
Hanson said this was the first time he’s raced against the clock to pump water out of a vessel to save a life and not a boat.
More than 20 first responders assisted in trying to free Rodriguez from the hull of the boat.
“They had several chain saws and circular saws going to cut the vessel away,” said Hanson. “He was actually inside of the middle of the top and bottom half of the hull, like a freak accident. They had to go through a lot of effort to get him out of there.”
Once Rodriguez was removed from the boat, he was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood where he later died.
Diaz was also hospitalized. She underwent surgery Monday morning and remains in serious condition.
“It’s a tragedy for everyone involved including the family, obviously the family, the rescuers, the people who are investigating, it’s something we never want to see happen,” said Pino.
The boat was towed and docked at the Westin Diplomat Hotel where it was pulled from the water for further investigation by the FWC. Investigators will also be looking to determine if alcohol played a factor in the crash.